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Review: BMW iX

Thinking of trading in your gas guzzler for something more eco-friendly? Take a look at this shiny, silent, speedy, sporty car - and wave goodbye to the petrol pump.

Anyone else been feeling the pinch every time they top up? The cost of a full tank now the price of a night in a fancy hotel, loads of us are now thinking, more than ever, of going electric. With a constant ‘go greener’ message too it’s started really playing on my mind how much my car is really not helping carbon emissions – yes I drive a teeny tiny Mini Cooper, but still. So, I took this green, lean machine for a spin…

THE LOOK

Enter the shiny, new BMW iX. It’s seriously sexy, sleek and fully electric, with an impressive range of up to 257 miles. To put that in context, some electric cars only go up to 90 – so you’re not going to be tied down with this engine. It’s great if you’re pootling around town (you get a lot of looks too so maybe get out of your jim jams first if you’re dropping the kids off), but you’re not stuck to short journeys only – shopping trips and beach breaks here we come.

CAN I FIT EVERYTHING, INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK IN?

Outside there’s no two ways about it, this is not a small car. It’s a bit of a spaceship. But she looks seriously swish. All smooth lines, a panoramic roof, huge alloys and a pretty sizey grille. And with this big car you are definitely not short of space. Whether its three kids, three dogs or copious amounts of shopping (or all of the above) you’ll still have more than you know what to do with (never a bad thing in my book).

FEATURES

Features wise there’s about as many as you’d expect in a spaceship too. For those like me who rely on Siri, you’ll be happy as its got voice control and buttons begone – the iX has a really stunning curved display screen and is the first vehicle to come with 5G as standard. Pretty handy there’s a charging pad for your phone then.

The steering wheel is a hexagonal shape based on racing cars – sorry, Lewis Hamilton doesn’t come with the car. The middle console is made out of elegant wood with crystal-style switches – kinda old schoolbut I liked it. The first thing my mum exclaimed when she climbed in was ‘ohhh sparkly’ so, I reckon that sums that up. Seats are heated with a lovely massage facility which I used pretty much constantly and didn’t rinse the battery – car ride and a spa day in one – a win in my book. And when it comes to parking there’s panoramic and rear-view cameras which made even getting onto my teeny tiny drive a breeze.

THE DRIVE

It’s an absolute delight to drive – and to be honest does most of it for you. You can choose custom, sport or economy mode. Of course I took one for the team and tried all three – I think you can guess which was the most fun, 0 to 62mph in 4.6 seconds. Motorway driving is wonderful, stick it in cruise control and it even corrects your lane if you start to drift and slows you down as the car in front does. If you’re using the satnav (an essential as a mobile phone to this geographically challenged editor) then its one of the best I’ve come across, completely foolproof and comes up with a handy little display on your windscreen.

CHARGING

The thing I was most doubtful about with using an electric car is the argument I think most have – is it easy to charge? I don’t have a charging point at home but there’s a nifty gadget in the car which tells you the closest points and charging stations along your route. It turns out most places have chargers – from service stations, supermarkets, petrol stations and all kind of weird and wonderful stops. And some of the places you think would definitely have one (I’m looking at you Arena Shopping Park in Cov!) – don’t. While reviewing the car it just became second nature to stop somewhere with a free charging point, like when doing the weekly shop, or if I pulled in somewhere for a coffee.

Most points are accessed by apps which are really easy to use and a standard charger gives 62 miles in under an hour. If you’re in a rush then head to an high power charging station where you can get that amount in 6 minutes. Bear in mind it does cost to use the faster charging point though, but pricing is really fair and much cheaper than petrol or diesel. It’s also worth noting at no point did I have to queue for a charge point.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: It’s a great all-rounder with heaps of space. Perfect for families, or those who find themselves with a car overflowing with shopping, work items or if you’re like me – too many dogs. The range makes it really attractive for those who want to pootle around town but doesn’t hold you back from taking longer trips too.

Not for: If you are on the lookout for a city car to get into tight spaces, maybe give this one a miss.

The damage: Prices start at £69,905.

Rybrook BMW, Fusiliers Way, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick CV34 8DD

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